Circulation and distribution of some hydrographical properties during the late winter in the Bay of Bengal

D.P. Rao, J.S. Sastry


Charts showing dynamic topography, mass distribution, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and inorganic phosphate in the upper layers of the Bay of Bengal for the late winter period were analysed and presented. The near surface circulation has been discussed in relation to thermal structure and water mass characteristics. The analysis revealed that the field of motion in the near surface layers of the Bay of Bengal during the late winter is the result of various factors, such as the winter cooling near the head of the Bay, the influence of northeast monsoon winds, the influence of north equatorial current in the southern regions and the influence of fresh water discharges, especially in the northern Bay, Andaman Sea and along the east coast of India. The integral mean concentration of nutrients in the surface mixed layer is in consonance with the near surface circulation in such a way that its higher (lower) value along with the lower (high) value of dissolved oxygen is associated with less (more) thickness of the surface layer projecting very clearly the effect of divergence of cyclonic gyre present in the near surface circulation. The salinity structure presented shows that the Bay of Bengal exhibits an estuarine type of circulation due to heavy discharge of fresh water all along its land peripheries


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